Freedom Jane McKenzie isn t good at following the rules. She s good at getting into trouble and playing marbles. All she wants is to enter the marble competition at the Autumn Jubilee and show the boys in the neighborhood that she s the best player. First, Freedom has to convince her mother to let her enter. But there s a new baby on the way, Freedom s daddy is drinking too much, her little brother is a handful, and her mother is even more difficult than usual. Freedom learns that when it comes to love, friendship, and family, sometimes there are no rules. Set in 1959, The Marble Queen is a timeless story about growing up. I wanted to stay with Freedom and her oh-so-real family forever. I wanted to keep watching her play marbles with the boys. And I wanted just one more visit with the kind but eccentric next-door neighbor. Blake has combined the fascinating world of childhood marble-playing with the ups and downs of perfectly realistic characters. A winner Barbara O Connor, author of How to Steal a Dog and Greetings from Nowhere Rich with historical details, The Marble Queen will pull you back to 1959, but Freedom Jane McKenzie is a protagonist for all time. Whether she s knee-deep in family struggles or proving to the world she has what it takes to play marbles with the boys, Freedom s voice rings out with determination, humor, and warmth. Nan Marino, author of Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me"